WordPress Reinvents Gutenberg and I Can’t—

WordPress Reinvents Gutenberg and I Can’t—

WordPress invented the printing press for the post-printing age. They called it Gutenberg, thus positively impacting people’s factual knowledge in the post-factual age, while adversely impacting search trends on Google. Every idiot is searching for keyword Gutenberg and the more enlightened ones for phrase whats the difference between gutenberg and hewlett packard. Apart from circa half a millennium, none.

As for me, who was brought up at the height of the trivia age (aka let’s-see-how-much-encyclopaedic-facts-we-can-input-in-a-schoolkid’s-head-before-it-implodes age), I have a more interesting question. What’s the difference between Gutenberg à la WordPress and Shakespeare? Apart from a few random centuries, none. Both are much ado about nothing. Also, I tend to disapprove of both of them, while everyone else seems to be shitting themselves with enthusiasm, and I’m thinking what the heck I’m missing.

What is this thing, then, this Gutenberg by WordPress? Well. Since we’re on the literary note, let me whip up a simile (worry not, that’s the shit that is easier than the metaphor, or even the oxymoron). Just as WordPress allows you to make a website without actually knowing how to code, so Gutenberg allows you to produce content without knowing how to write. Okay. I might be exaggerating, but not much. Gutenberg is a kind of an upgraded visual editor. Like Word is an upgraded Notepad.

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This may or may not be my make-up (see below for [ir]relevance)
I have literally (not to be confused with literary) no idea (I could just as well finish the sentence here, right?)—no idea what my problem with visual editors is. A childhood trauma, perhaps? Hardly, unless my traumatising encounters with MS Dos count. (To my schoolteacher of IT, who never graded me better than a B: Dude, wanna see my latest bit of JavaScript? Or my new CSS tricks? You know, I happen to be a coder now. So fuck you, in yer face. [Not literally, please.])

I love new stuff and shit that makes other shit easier. I’m not the fashionable weirdo who bakes her own bread though she can buy it courtesy of the supermarket. I suspect I’ve had too much experience with visual editors not doing their one job and me ending up just coding the job, which, as it happened, was more efficient on all fronts. Whenever I hear visual builder, I’m getting measles. I’m kidding. I’m not getting measles at any time because my mother wasn’t a militant bio-mother, so I’m fully vaccinated.

I’m not sure whether the vaccine is the reason I’m semi-autistic. Maybe I was born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline. It could be Rimmel, too. But not Sephora. I’m not a Sephora person. I know a person who is a Sephora person, which is why I researched what the fuck. It appears that Sephora sells overpriced make-up to those dumb enough to buy it. Which didn’t really answer my what the fuck question. I wear make-up once a week at most (not coincidentally, it coincides with the equally rare occasions when I leave the flat), and so I’m still wearing the glossy red lip gloss I bought five years ago.

Glossy lip gloss is no more fashionable, I hear (and deem it irrelevant), but I no more like it. Trouble is, as is the case with all things you don’t like any more, that the product is bottomless. I assume it’s also past its expiry date; fortunately, I don’t believe in expiry dates. Nothing but propaganda. I shall keep on using and/or eating any expired thing until it manifests highly visible signs of mould which I evaluate as severe enough to justify throwing the shit out. Don’t even try to argue with me. See above for post-factual age. You’re welcome.

Aside

On Blogkeeping and Changes

The only change that doesn’t change is change. Duh.

I’ve been up to no good, as always when I’m up to something. In the unlikely scenario that you’re a professional stalker and stalk me proficiently, you would have noticed a few months ago that I went sort of off-the-grid. Not because it’s fashionable and the internet is full of it—see the irony? how can you report your off-grid experience when you’re off-the-grid, huh?—but because I woke up one day with the excellent idea to remove myself off of the face of the earth. (Is there any linguist or language user who would explain to me how to use off of? Or is it of off? Does it even make any sense, language-economy-wise?)

This time, I wasn’t thinking of a literal removal of my person from among the living—though it is indeed my favourite image to dwell upon—but a partial removal of my online persona from among the asocial people who socialise online. I’m kidding, as per usual. Or am I? In any case, in a rare moment of deployment of common sense, it occurred to me that since I’m not using the gazillion social media I senselessly subscribed to, I could just as well delete my accounts. Following this logic, I killed myself on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Blogloving, Vine (the latter was a step ahead and had killed itself before I did) and probably elsewhere I don’t even remember now.

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My blog in 2014 according to the WayBack Machine,  which is terribly wrong about the design

I only kept this blog—should you wonder whether I kept the blog that you’re currently reading, you know—and my Instagram, both of which I hardly use anyway, but anyway. My point is that if you happened to notice me having disappeared, it’s not you—neither is it me; it is what it is. (I understand that a point should be deep, hence the populist and Buddhist crap respectively.) My killing spree also affected the blog as I took down some images that I in retrospect evaluated as too revealing. Keep your pants on, I don’t mean revealing in the good way, as in nudes, but in the indifferent way, as in showing too much of my real-life person, as opposed to my blogging persona.

Please don’t refute this point by arguing that I don’t have a life, less so a real life. I’m aware of this fallacy. Also, no need to point out that once shit gets on the internet, shit gets real; in other words, once online, always online. I’m aware of that, too. My message here is that you may see some images on the blog that you can’t see. See? As in the classic rectangular outline with no content but a cross in it and a message that the image can’t be displayed. Duh. As to the thought of preserving my blog for posterity—though I don’t intend to multiply, so I won’t produce any posterity of my own—the WayBack Machine does this job. Even if poorly, as you can see in the snapshot of my blog from four years ago.

I Just Had a Hilarious Anxiety/Panic Attack

I Just Had a Hilarious Anxiety/Panic Attack

Hilarious is probably not the first word that comes in mind in connection with mental episodes. Especially if you’re the sufferer. But when you look at it with the eyes of the observer, it is really the best word to describe it. Hilarious.

I just had an acute mental episode over nothing. What happened? Like I say, nothing. All I did was walking over to sit at the computer and get some work done. And whoosh. Out of the blue I can’t breathe and feel a pressing urge to peel my skin off in one piece like a snake because there’s a weird sensation all over it.

I totally get that some of my fellow nutcases bang their heads against the wall or cut themselves. Clear-cut physical discomfort is a breeze. Weird mental discomfort is—weird. Also, maddening; though I’m not sure how it applies when you are already mad.

So, doing my best to perform the breathing exercise designed for panic/anxiety attacks, I hop (limp shakily) on the yoga mat and go for a classic guided breathing meditation that I have bookmarked on my phone. Now I not only want to peel my skin off but also want to rip the headphones off my head and toss the shit out of the window because it feels crazy weird against the ears too.

As the meditation progresses, so does my panic because the exercise isn’t working. However, successfully overcoming the temptation to grab the phone and toss it the same way as the headphones, I complete the meditation, put the stuff out of the reach of crazy people, remove my shorts because they feel weird and move on to administer a Lexaurin pill.

Ten minutes later, I can breathe normally. Well, not really, I could breathe normally but I can’t at the moment because I’m having a fit of hysterical laughter at myself. As I’m putting my shorts back on because they are perfectly legit, totally comfortable and don’t feel weird at all, I’m wondering what the fuck that was.

Apparently, I had a panic attack over absolutely nothing.

Well, okay, so maybe there is a workload I’m freaking about, which might have triggered the reaction. But come on, tell me something that’s new or, even better, tell me one rational reason why I should be entitled to panic over work. It’s not like my life depends on it.

Well, okay, so maybe my life does depend on my ability to work my workload. But, so what, let’s not try to reinvent the wheel here. Same old, same old: I’m a means of production owned by the capitalist society blah blah; also, exploitation, inequity, overwork, underpay blah blah, so everything is as it should be.

Well, okay, so maybe everything isn’t as it should be. However, who is to say what should be? Not me. Not anyone, as far as I’m concerned. (I wonder if that makes me an anarchist? And is that a bad thing? — I’m glad I don’t subscribe to the good/bad dichotomy, looks like it’s complicated as fuck.) My point is: what is there to panic about when there is no point anyway? I wish my panicky brain finally got it. Duh.

My First-Time Muffin

My First-Time Muffin

Do you remember the first time you ate a muffin? I do. I remember it like it was yesterday. Incidentally, it was yesterday. How come I’ve got so far and so old without ever chancing to eat a muffin? Dunno. I wish I had a profound explanation. I have no anti-muffin agenda though, it just never occurred to me to eat one.

I’m currently watching one of the most idiotic TV shows ever done, Scrubs, and leaving aside my poor judgement and taste, there is one character who is always eating muffins. We all know how persistent advertising works, so it’s no surprise that I soon became obsessed with muffins. My obsession culminated to the point when I actively desired to eat one and, the advertiser’s dream, I took action to procure it.

Please note that we’re not talking euphemisms here. By muffin, I mean muffin. I got myself one in Tesco. It was unreasonably expensive, for a muffin, though I wouldn’t know, having never noticed that they even sell this shit before. I carried my muffin home, asphyxiating it tightly wrapped in one of those anti-nature plastic bags.

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Not a muffin

There, I set my muffin on a plate and commenced examining it visually. It was labelled as a chocolate muffin, hence it was nicely dark brown, but you never know whether it’s brown because it’s chocolate or because it’s artificial colouring and flavouring. I was pretty puzzled by the muffin sitting with its bottom stuck in whatyoumaycallit, baking cup? Another of these anti-nature wrappings, but paper, not plastic.

I got so many questions. Why is it called muffin in the first place? Because it muffles whatever you’re saying when you have your mouth stuffed full of it? But then it would be mufflin, I guess. Also, is it soft or hard? Some things are indeed better hard, like Oreos, but I’d prefer this one soft. And is there something in the centre of this misshapen ball? Like, uhm, cream filling? And will it explode on my face? On this note of practical considerations, how the fuck are you supposed to eat this thing??

I dug an exploratory finger in the top of the muffin and behold, it’s soft and crumbly! It’s so soft and crumbly that I got crumbs in my keyboard. Damnit. It’s nice though. Very nice. Very chocolatey. Also, now that I’m observing the remains of a muffin which has just undergone a lobotomy, have you ever noticed that the muffin looks like a nuclear mushroom cloud? No? It totally does! Look at that shit properly the next time you eat a muffin. And for your information, the muffin was as empty inside as me.

What You Should(n’t) Do to Sleep

What You Should(n’t) Do to Sleep

I’ve decided to explore a new blogging niche. That of writing anti-blogs. Is anyone even doing it yet or have I finally stumbled upon something original? What I have in mind are specifically anti-manuals, anti-instructions and anti-advice. Since I suck at pretty much everything, particularly life, I thought I’d share my wisdom for the benefit of those whom I might serve as a cautionary story.

I quite enjoy the irony of this idea: I can’t save myself, yet I’m proposing to save the world. Okay, not to save the world, I’m more modest than that, hence I only seek to make the world a better place. Do you believe me? You shouldn’t! For fuck’s sake, you’re reading an anti-blog! Also, do I give the impression that I give a shit? I hope not. Scratch that. I don’t have hopes.

I’ve been sleep-deprived for quite a while now. Which may explain the preceding and the following. A bar recently opened right under my flat and I think my sleeplessness might be related to this fact. It’s not just a bar. It’s a rock music bar. A non-stop music bar, to be absolutely precise. I have their fucking jukebox right under my bed. No kidding. Let’s just say that the constant noise of varying quality and quantity doesn’t exactly facilitate sleep.

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Screw this shit

Which is where I’m getting down to my anti-advice. Aka, what you shouldn’t do when you’re trying to sleep. All the methods detailed below have been tested on myself and have been found inefficient, cumbersome and likely unsafe. While not recommended for human use, these methods seem to be safe for cats. Mine is not only not insomniac but appears perfectly at peace, especially in contrast to yours truly. My truly. Me.

The first method I tried consisted in listening to a meditation for sleep on the phone. This trick was actually nice and is comparatively safe. At least so I thought, until I talked to a friend, who happens to be a firefighter and who is obsessed with the idea that unattended phones in beds may spontaneously combust. Even when they are not Samsung. Do Samsung phones still explode? Just asking. I have a low-end phone and what it does is to freeze, so I assume no fireworks are happening here, literally or figuratively.

The second method I tried was purchasing a set of earplugs. I was very pleased with them because they looked cute and came in a pretty pod. They didn’t come with a manual, which displeased me, since I’m obsessed with manuals. So I googled. I was terrified, applying earplugs is basically nuclear science. However, apply them I did. Semi-successfully. They even worked, sort of, except my ears are still hurting from that foam shit. I must’ve misread the manual or something.

The third method I tried was to block the noise with even more noise. I was hoping one noise would cancel the other noise. Well, it doesn’t work like this. I selected an ambient ocean sound and played it in endless loop on the laptop. The roaring ocean was terrifying rather than relaxing. Though it did balance the noise nicely: there were drum beats coming from below and ocean screams coming from the left, where my laptop was sitting on the table. I didn’t dare to put it in the bed in case my firefighter friend would disapprove.

That much to my anti-manual so far. Excuse typos and general shit, I haven’t slept well. Like forever. Also, I’m writing this with my headphones on, listening to the roaring ocean. It sounds apocalyptic. I think it goes well with my life.

I Went to a Party (No, Really!)

I Went to a Party (No, Really!)

I’m like Thomas Pynchon. People know me by name but no one has really seen me. I’m also not like Thomas Pynchon because there’s no mystery to my invisibility: I hardly ever go out and I let no one in. So, duh. Probably also unlike Thomas Pynchon, I recognise that social isolation causes craziness in sane people and boosts craziness in already insane people. The latter being my case, I sensibly decided that I shall bravely go where I have never gone before and will attend a party to which my acquaintance inexplicably invited me, probably acting in a fit of crazies.

After double-checking that the invite wasn’t a drunk misclick (I’m sure it was, but the party person took pity and assured me of his undying friendship acquaintance and his being okay with me coming), I dressed up and ventured out. I assumed that my acquaintance, like me, had no friends and that the party wouldn’t be a big deal. Feel free to imagine in unflattering visuals my surprise (like eyes popping out and tongue lolling from the open mouth) when I arrived to find half the village at the spot. I knew next to no one there, so after presenting my strikingly original present of a bottle of wine to the party leader, I sat down next to the nearest random person.

I had asked for water to start with, so I set my plastic cup in front of me and proceeded to introduce myself to my neighbour. The neighbour probably told me his name, which I didn’t forget—because I didn’t even hear it to start with. I wonder whether it’s a sign of egoism that I never listen to people when they’re introducing themselves. If it is indeed the case, consider me sufficiently punished because the longer you’ve known a person, the more awkward it gets to ask their name. My conversation with the random unknown party goer was more than disastrous.

The stranger showed me a wound on his leg, which was bleeding through the bandage. I spontaneously attempted to summon a deity in which I don’t believe (“OMG!”) and inquired what had happened. “It was at work,” he says. “Oh,” I say, more or less successfully feigning interest in the bloody blotch, “what were you doing?” He says, “Working.” I see. I don’t see, of course, but I don’t want to pry. So I try something different: “And what do you do?” He looks at me and says, “Same as everyone else.” Oh. I’m puzzled but choose to assume that I’m doing it wrong.

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The party took place at the yellow river

After a while, the stranger bends over and unties my shoe lace. Somewhat taken aback, I’m waiting for what it’s gonna be. The stranger resumes his seat and does absolutely nothing. So I say, “Okay, that’s it?” He confirms. That explains everything. Not. I tentatively express my disappointment, “You know, I was waiting for a point to it…” He says nothing. After a bit, I go on, “That was a token of affection or an act of hostility?” The former, he says. Instead of yelling, What the fuck are you, four or what?, I practise the Buddhist teachings of acceptance, honour and respect, and say, if somewhat insincerely, “Oh, that’s nice.”

Because I didn’t have the balls to tell the stranger that I was worried that idiocy was infectious, I said, though quite frankly, that I needed a drink and moved on. I didn’t grab a drink until much later and went on carrying around my cup of water, causing many eyebrows to raise. The ultimate havoc I wreaked was however when I politely refused the pot that was being passed around, laughing that I was a bit too grown-up for that crap. I should’ve kept my trap shut. Though I’ve meanwhile become a village legend (the village equivalent of the urban legend) because I genuinely can’t speak the colloquial variant of my mother tongue, which raised major suspicions.

Against my better judgement, I eventually had a few shots, but managed to stay the most sober person around, second only to the dogs and kids present. I recently decided I was too grown-up to get stupid drunk. Shrug. I tried my hand (tongue) at some more conversations. I was the most successful with someone’s mother, who was twice my age and apparently found herself at the party by mistake, like me. I totally killed it (in the bad way) when someone was explaining that they sought to be awarded invalidity pension and I thought they were joking, so I joined in, “Haha, a good one, who’d want a pension, right?” Except they weren’t joking. They thought I was joking when I attempted to explain my view that it takes an exceptional person not to get uselessly wasted away once they’re on pension and don’t have to do anything.

When it got dark, cold and people started slurring beyond comprehension, I took the liberty to leave. I went depressed and despondent. How do I never fit anywhere? Like, it’s probably me, right? How do I literally and figuratively, on all planes, don’t speak the same language as everyone else? And, are there people who do speak my tongue? If so, where the fuck are the suckers hiding? I do wonder what the other party goers’ interpretation of my presence at the party would be. Provided they’d remember anything of it or bothered to care about it in the first place. I’m sure it’d be totally different from mine. I’m stumped.

Weekly Photo Challenge: (No) Favourites

Weekly Photo Challenge: (No) Favourites

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favourites.

Favourites I have none. Wait. Regrets I have none is how the phrase goes. Except it’s not true. Of course I have regrets that the Daily Post rolled over and quit. Except— it’s more of grudge than regrets. So the opening line of this post should have been Regrets I have none, grudge I have some. Grudge I have all, y’all.

Let’s try this again. WordPress’s last Photo Challenge is on the prompt of All-Time Favourites. For a fact. I’m quite relieved, also for a fact, because I was half-convinced that the last prompt would be either dull and obvious (such as The End) and/or dumb and sentimental (such as Farewell). The Favourites prompt isn’t thrilling but is half-decent.

Except I don’t have even half-decent all-time favourites. I refuse to dig in the archives. What for? What would I find there besides old dry bones? I don’t need to go back to produce crappy photos as per my trademark.

Incidentally, for a few months at the start of this year, I was running (while refusing the fact that I was running) a self-imposed self-challenge of posting a photo a day on Instagram and then reposting them here in weekly batches. What’s interesting about it? Nothing, I didn’t say it was interesting.

I quit this thing sometime in April. I found that the idea was nice but the execution was— how to say it nicely? Shitty? That will do. While it was an excellent plan to practise mindfulness and presence and whatnot and take a photo a day, it proved increasingly difficult because I hardly ever go out. So I literally ran out of things to shoot.

Hello, are you still there? If so, good, because I just got down to the point. If not— well, good on you. You know what my point is? Nothing! I’m notorious for making the point that I have no point. In lieu of a point, here’s a mess of my Instagram pictures from April, as yet unposted on the blog.

WordPress’s Daily Post Quits—Now What?

WordPress’s Daily Post Quits—Now What?

In case you haven’t heard yet, the Daily Post is a goner. It bothers me more than it should. As we say in the second world, it’s not like bread is gonna be cheaper for that, so why care. As I hear is legit in the first world, though, one has the privilege to rant about things. Let’s do this!

Stages of Grief

I’ve gone through the five stages of grief regarding the Daily Post’s demise.

  1. Denial (“What? Nooo—!!!”)
  2. Anger (“Losers! Quitters! Traitors! Class enemies!” — Please note that “class enemy” is a cultural thing and it’s a bad thing to be. The worst, actually.)
  3. Bargaining (“How hard is it to keep the thing running, huh? As Ben admits in his post on the Daily Post, WordPress servers shall be chugging along for the next 14,320,078 years, so come on!”)
  4. Depression (“Can’t even…”)
  5. Acceptance (“As you wish.” — That means I strongly disagree with you but currently can’t think of any means to bring you to senses.)

I even added an extra stage, just for the fun of grieving.

  1. Resistance (“You won’t take responsibility? Fine. I’ll take it myself. In yer face.”)
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Random picture

Stages of Feelings

I notoriously suck at connecting with my feelings because I read on Freud’s virtues of repression in an impressionable age and it stuck. I perfected the art of not admitting to feeling anything to the point of actually not feeling anything. That is, besides a single uniform formless emotion, whose name I don’t know but which is dull and depressing. I think it’s a constant lack of will to live. Is that an emotion? I need to practise naming emotions, so let’s identify how I feel about the Daily Post’s decease.

  1. Disappointment — I was dumb enough to form some expectations and to believe that at least over at WordPress, everything will be as it should be. That’s disappointing on so many levels. (Which I’m too lazy to describe, so trust me—and you shall be betrayed! See below.)
  2. Betrayal — Well, I didn’t sign up for this. For WordPress quitting on me.
  3. Guilt — I should have had more sense than to be trustful and end up cheated, so serve me just right.
  4. Anger — I was totally triggered by the mention of the discontinuation of the Daily Post being “a hard decision” in the post bringing this news. Saying “a hard decision” means avoiding telling the real reason.
  5. Loss of faith in humanity — See above. I wonder what the real reason for this “hard decision” was. Kidding, I don’t wonder, we live in a capitalist society (even me), so it’s an easy guess.
  6. Affirmation — The Daily Post challenges kept me blogging and connected with the world when I was too depressed and/or busy to even—  But we’re ultimately all alone, so it’s up to me to do shit. You know, like to blog about it. Incidentally, I just did that.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted.

I have a twisted sense of humour. As it doesn’t lend itself quite easily to photography, here’s the twist in the twisted form of twisted twigs.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid.

Liquid? Indeed. That I can do well.